Heath Ledger

23 Jan

Despite my ambivalance about Brokeback Mountain, Heath Ledger was always one of those actors that would sway me toward seeing a movie, because I knew he could act. Even when it was in something fairly silly, like Cassonova, he had a presence on the screen, and I liked that. And he starred in The Brothers Grimm, which was one of those films that Terry Gilliam wasn’t happy about, but was still far and away better than anything else out there (typical Gilliam).

Then, Heath Ledger got the role of The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s next Batman movie, The Dark Knight, and I was thrilled. I was very impressed at the photos I saw, and I was blown away when I actually saw a trailer. The still photos didn’t do justice, not even a little. You had to see the strange, strange way that he moved as the Joker. The odd way that he spoke as the Joker. The photos serve only as a reminder, once you’ve seen him moving. He brought a gravity and an off-kilter insanity to the Joker, and it was perfect, and I was beyond excited to see the Dark Knight.

And I still am. But it was through LoLCatz this morning that I followed this link, and my first thought — always my first thought — was “this is a joke article,” and the first thing I look for is the goofy Onion-esque punch line being played mock-seriously. And then I realize a second later that it’s not a joke. And even when it’s someone you don’t know, someone whose work you follow in a half-ish sort of way…it’s a punch to the gut. It always should be.

Heath Ledger was found dead today. Cause unknown.



Posted by on January 23, 2008 in Uncategorized


5 responses to “Heath Ledger

  1. tjwriter

    January 23, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Yeah, this totally blows. He was one of those actors that I always knew I was going to enjoy his performance, even if the rest of the movie sucked.

    It looks like a drug overdose. From what I’ve read, the pills found with him were sleeping pills. Some people are claiming suicide, and others are saying that he had been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately. Still others are saying that he had a very carefully hidden drug problem.

    I’ll wait until the facts are in. Speculation of this nature is pointless for me. It’s a sad day for his family and loved ones. His daughter is only slightly older than Piper. That makes me feel terribly ill.

  2. Pete Tzinski

    January 23, 2008 at 8:36 am

    The sleeping pill was “Ambien”

    I have heard Very, Very Bad Things about Ambien. Between those, and this, I shall never, ever take it. If I have trouble sleeping, I’ll just write or something.

  3. MidnightMuse

    January 23, 2008 at 8:53 am

    I didn’t pay him much attention as an actor, though I won’t deny he had talent, I’m just so far behind on my current movie-watching . . . But what a terrible waste of talent, and such a young age. I hope, for his memory’s sake alone, that it truly was an accidental issue with Ambien, or whatever else he took.

  4. tjwriter

    January 23, 2008 at 9:25 am

    One of my former bosses took Ambien. She’d end up on the street walking her dog in the middle of the night too.

    Something I heard, and I hate to speculate because all the facts are not known, but after doing the film as the Joker, his sleep patterns were all screwy. He is noted as saying that he took one Ambien, trying to go to sleep, and when that didn’t work, he took a second, allowing him to sleep for one hour.

    I just feel so bad for everybody right now.

  5. Shadow Ferret

    January 23, 2008 at 10:01 am

    To be honest, until he died, I’d never even heard his name.

    Still a shame, though. Accidental overdose is what they’re saying, and at TJ said, I also heard he was having sleep troubles because of The Joker role.


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